Canadian Andrew Pinfold (Symmetrics) outsprinted his breakaway companions to win the final stage, the Hood River Criterium, of the Mt Hood Cycling Classic. World B Champion Ivan Stevic (Toyota-United) was second and Italian Alessandro Bazzana (Successful Living) came in third.


Andrew Pinfold (Symmetrics) wins the sprint ahead of Ivan Stevic (Toyota-United) and Alessandro Bazzana (Successful Living)

"I was on [Chris] Wherry's wheel and he sat up, I knew that he's not going to deliver me to the line, I was just waiting for that, and I was able to get on, I think it was Bazzana's or Stevic's wheel, and I came around him at the end. I came around the corner in third wheel." said Pinfold.

Australian Rory Sutherland protected by his Health Net-Maxxis teammates came in safely across the line to win the overall general classification, shadowed at the line by second place Darren Lill (BMC) and third place Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell).

"I think it was a learning experience for a lot of the guys, a lot of the boys hadn't done that kind of stuff before. Look at the start list, look at the teams that are here, this is probably one of the. I'd say, one of the best field ever put together on the domestic scene, this and Redlands of course, so it was by no means an easy feat that's for sure. The guys seemed to get better every day, and really rode above and beyond today, to be honest they don't get paid enough to do that kind of stuff because they just killed themselves for somebody else and that's a pretty amazing thing." said Sutherland about his team.




Final GC podium (l-r): second place Darren Lill (BMC), Rory Sutherland (Health Net-Maxxis), Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell)

"I think the week went really well, I was able to do what I could on the days that I wanted to, and I have to be happy ... the way that I rode, the third best guy in the race. Rory [Sutherland] is obviously on a huge tear this year, and Darren Lill came with great form, winning a great stage on that circuit race, and that mountain top finish, I mean for a guy of my stature to limit my losses like that was all I could hope for." said Jacques-Maynes.

The last chance for some to get a stage win for the 90 plus riders at the start line ensured that the pace would be high from the get go. Stage 5 was a 75-minute technical crit in downtown Hood River, in front of an appreciative crowd, with tight corners, an s-turn followed by a long, flat straightaway, and 90-degree turns back to the start/finish line.

Attacks were launched immediately to create the right break, with Health Net-Maxxis controlling at the front of the field, not letting anyone dangerous escape.

"I had a feeling, we talked about it earlier that the break was going to work so I just thought better get in it." said Pinfold about the chance of success for a break.

Finally, 10 riders escaped. The break included Pinfold, Bazzana, Neil Shirley (Jittery Joe's), Jesse Moore (Cal Giant), Toyota-United duo Stevic and Chris Wherry, Dan Bowman (Kelly Benefit/Medifast) and Rock Racing duo of David Clinger and Doug Ollerenshaw looking to lock up the Sprinters Jersey for Ollerenshaw. The last rider to join the break was Teddy King (Bissell), the highest placed rider on GC in the break, hoping to move up in the general classification.


Break escaped after about 5 laps

"The last guy to come in was the Bissell guy and it was a big addition because he was pulling hard, and that was it, we kept the field behind." said Bazzana.

All the riders in the break worked well together and kept the field at bay until the end. The Heath Net-Maxxis team was happy to let them go and concentrated on keeping tabs on the danger men to Sutherland, Lill, Jacques-Maynes and Mike Creed (Rock Racing).


Health Net-Maxxis controls front of the field and sets a high tempo

The break was still together in the final lap when the Rock Racing duo crashed.

"I crashed, I don't know if he was on my wheel or if he was a few guys back but I just lost it at the bottom of that s-turn and took David [Clinger] down, I feel pretty awful to take a teammate down like that and take us out of contention for the stage, it's pretty rough. He'd been helping me out locking up that sprints jersey so I was hoping to lead him out for the sprint." said Ollerenshaw.

Bazzana was caught behind the crash and had to sprint to catch the break before the finish line.

"I had a five second gap and I had to sprint all the way to the finish and I couldn't make it, I didn't have the legs in the very end. I'm sorry for the team because I think we deserved the win." said Bazzana.

Stevic was obviously not happy with the final sprint afterwards but the officials found no issues with Pinfold's line.

Sutherland grabbed a hold of the leader's jersey on stage 4, the time trial and survived all attacks to win his second NRC stage race in two weeks, starting with the Joe Martin Stage Race.

"It's great, it's a great thing for the team. We never wanted to concentrate on something like the NRC this year, especially after winning last year, but at the moment, that's a huge, pretty big lead in two weeks that I managed to take and I hope that takes a lot of stress of the team for the future as well. We're coming to the end of a sponsorship year, like a lot of teams, there could a disbandment unless something drastic kind of happens and I know that we're not the only team that it's happening in, hopefully we can keep the same guys together, it's a winning formula that works together well." said Sutherland, hopeful that the results will help in keeping the team together for the next year.

King moved up to fourth place in general classification bumping Creed down to fifth place.

"Teddy is on a tear, he's one of those guys that probably from now on won't be as ignored, he's coming on to his own, winning stages at Joe Martin, threatening GC leads here at Mt Hood. I think, I've been saying it all year, he's going to be the next revelation on our team, the guy that grows up with it and really comes on to his own here, and I think he's really done that. " said Jacques-Maynes about his teammate.


Doug Ollerenshaw (Rock Racing) showing the aftermath of his crash

"It was good to get something out of it, earlier in the week, I was kind of hoping for a bit more myself, it would have been nice to get the stage win for the team so that's frustrating." said Sprints Jersey winner Ollerenshaw.


Andy Bajadali (Kelly Benefit/Medifast) won the King of the Mountain jersey.


Morgan Schmitt (Bissell) won the Best Young Rider classification, even after crashing in the first few laps and flipping over the hay bails.


Bissell won the overall team classification.

The Successful Living team on their quest for NRC points put two riders in the top ten, Brad White and JR Grabinger. Bazzana who had been very active in the break during yesterday's queen stage is satisfied with his form.

"I'm happy because I went to the Gila for training at altitude, I spent three weeks in Colorado, now I feel good, going to Philly week." said Bazzana.

Of note, the California Giant Berry Farms/ Specialized amateur team had two riders in the top 20 with their highest placed rider Jesse Moore in fifteenth place.

Top 10 Stage Results
1 Andrew Pinfold (Can) Symmetrics Cycling 1.14.03
2 Ivan Stevic (Srb) Toyota-United
3 Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) Successful Living.com P/B Parkpre
4 Daniel Bowman (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast
5 Jesse Moore (USA) California Giant Berry Farms/ Specialized
6 Edward King (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling Team
7 Neil Shirley (USA) Jittery Joe's
8 Chris Wherry (USA) Toyota-United
9 Kirk O'Bee (USA) Health Net/Maxis
10 Freddy Rodriguez (USA) Rock Racing

Top 10 Final General Classification
1 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Health Net/Maxis 11.25.22
2 Darren Lill (RSA) BMC Pro Cycling Team 0.31
3 Benjamin Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling Team 0.46
4 Edward King (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling Team 1.21
5 Michael Creed (USA) Rock Racing 1.40
6 Bradley White (USA) Successful Living.com P/B Parkpre 2.05
7 Phil Zajicek (USA) Health Net/Maxis 2.21
8 Andrew Bajadali (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast 2.40
9 Caleb Manion (Aus) Toyota-United 2.54
10 Michael Grabinger (USA) Successful Living.com P/B Parkpre 2.57

Full results here.

All photos c. Lyne Lamoureux